Ferrer & Board

Ferrer Internacional, the leading Spanish pharmaceutical company, achieves an end-to-end integrated planning process from R&D to distribution thanks to Board

Now there is a single tool for all the users, enabling them to consult and even interact with each other.

Ariadna Iglesias Criado
Corporate Controller

00:00:10Ferrer is an international pharmaceutical company headquartered in Barcelona and with a presence in more than 115 countries. Ferrer’s main mission is to contribute to improving quality of life through various areas related to health: from pharmaceutical to OTC, molecular diagnosis, and chemicals.

00:00:37Why did you implement Board? The reason we decided to implement a tool like Board was the result of the group’s growth and the need for actionable insights.

Until that moment we had been working with Excel sheets, and budgeting and forecasting processes had become quite unmanageable - both the main budgeting/forecasting we do at the mid-year point and the whole budgeting process itself.

From the IT department’s standpoint, Board allows us to have a wider vision of the entire budgeting process across the company. Previously we had to upload all the information to the ERP and this wasn’t productive for the business. Thanks to Board, we are helping the business areas move away from their dependence on Excel, as the tool provides access to a centralized set of data. In turn, this helps control versioning and enable a budgeting process in which all parties can be involved, without the need for constant manual treatment of data by the Controlling Department.

We chose Board because we felt it was the tool that brought the best input and could provide real value to the internal clients. In fact, aside from the budget process itself, we have been able to develop additional applications that have created even more value for the users. They have adopted the new process because now they have information that they did not have access to before or information that was hard to obtain; they previously had to work with very large reports so the process has become more agile.

00:02:40What benefits are you seeing from the use of Board? In our opinion it is a very useful tool because, even though we were involved with the implementation, one of our users in Controlling has already become advanced user because Board is practically autonomous.

Now there is a single tool for all the users, enabling them to consult and even interact with each other.

We can differentiate between the rolling part and budgeting part. Thanks to the rolling forecast project, we can make more accurate closings every month which empowers our Product Managers to make better decisions.

Such a dynamic tool like this one is in complete contrast with typical budgeting and forecasting processes that happen once a year between July and November. Right now, we work the rolling forecast on a monthly basis with Demand Business Units, allowing them to anticipate demand despite the fact their behavior is not constant due to their operational nature. This was impossible before Board.

As the user can see the monthly evolution that is taking place, especially the business units that work mainly with discount campaigns, they can anticipate and track trends and make decisions with a reasonable amount of time to spare. Again this was not possible before Board.

This is important in our day-to-day activities because the later it is the more complicated it gets.

I personally believe that Board allows us to be very efficient throughout every process that requires the reuse and reloading of data. This tool, which is organized in terms of Data Visualization and Planning, allows the whole company to be aligned. It makes us more efficient; we have reduced budget preparation time and we have also reduced the time taken to transfer this information to the ERP, a task that was previously done manually by the Controlling Department.

We have finally stopped working with parallel Excel spreadsheets.

00:05:00Would you recommend your Board implementation partner to other companies? The support we have had from SDG has been constant and complete and it is not over yet. In fact, we are continuously expanding the projects. We had a very intensive design process, in which SDG suggested several methodologies to us, and we have worked together to find the best solution. They have helped us to extrapolate these processes to the different business areas with training and solved doubts with the users. There has been a good working relationship between controlling systems and SDG, with three people involved from our side, who have worked together with SDG throughout.